Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crawfish and Yuengling

I spent yesterday laughing.  Seriously laughing.  I haven't laughed like that in ages. 
My lovely friends, Tommy & Dyann, celebrate their ties to Lousiana several times a year with a huge crawfish boil.  They are always fun events as we dig through giant tables of crawfish pulling handfuls of spicy goodness out of those little tails.  
There's something simply joyful about spicy, juicy hands holding on to a crumpled up paper towel and a cold plastic cup of beer.
 Yuengling always makes me think of home, so it was nice to see a big ass keg of it.  We were having some trouble with the tap, though, it wasn't pumping very smoothly so I went on a hunt for some WD40.  I couldn't find any, but Dyann came through with her suggestion to use Pam on it.  The boys standing around nearby were skeptical and wondered about the potential butter-flavor impact, but it worked beautifully!  
Tommy cooked up over 200 pounds of crawfish and all the fixin's.  There were about six rounds of them, I think...I lost track.  He orders them up from Louisiana and they're alive when they get here.  In prep for the pot, they go through a bath step and that's the part all the kids were loving.  They basically got to fish for them in a big tub.  I'm not sure how many kids were traumatized when they saw their new friends go into the boiling water.  

I just couldn't find the wherewithal to actually suck on the heads.  I know it's the best juice, but if chunks come out with it, I get a little grossed out.  I'm not the only one who felt that way as we sat and picked and cleaned these babies to get out a little bit of perfect meat.  I used the heads, instead, as props for my little iPhone photo shoot.  :)
 After a certain point in the day...and into the evening...we were laughing so hard that I actually had to take a knee in the muddy grass.  Then, I thought that was so funny I actually took a picture of my one dirty knee.  haaaaaaaaaaaa  
My bud, Crackin', took this shot as I got ready to enjoy the last lemon cupcake.  These cupcakes were handcrafted by my friend, Vanessa, and she is an icing goddess.  Seriously.  It's the best icing ever.  She said these were an experiment and they ended up being a complete much so that I carried this last cupcake around for 15 minutes just so no one else would get it.   
Then, after the damage was done I took this shot and call it:  "sadness"  haaaaaaaaaaaaa  
A lonely, empty cupcake cup.  I think that's going to be my shot of the week.
I wish I had one of those cupcakes right now. :)  But, I couldn't really enjoy it because my abs still hurt from the laughing...and that is a wonderful feeling.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Macro Sunday...You'll Never Guess

It's my fave close-up shot of the week.  Wanna know what it is?
The lint from my hairdryer!  haaaaaaaaaaa

I know it's kinda gross, but when I pulled it out to clean it there was a pretty spiral pattern of pink fuzz. I couldn't resist getting a shot of it.  I have bright pink towels that have been a complete lint nightmare even two years later.

Enjoy my lint and have a fabulous week!

studio waterstone

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Peacock, a Pig, and a Panda

Roger, my couch, and I have been spending far too much time together.  My back has really been hurting, so I end up laying around far too much.  Seriously, I realized yesterday that there was absolutely zero that I should be doing.  I had no commitments to anything.  There are plenty of things that I could have done, but I lost hours playing sudoku (got my highest score ever), reading magazines (actually just skimming them and tearing out the things I want to read for later), and napping.  My cats and I bonded.  But, we are already bonded and really don't need to spend this much time together.  So, last night as I sat up watching useless television, I resolved to get up and go do something today.  I decided to go to the zoo!  I have lived here for nearly two years and have always wanted to go down to the Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk but haven't done it.  I was going to set my alarm and wake up super early and go work out and read the paper and then get there when they opened at 10.  But, in reality, I woke up at the regular cat feeding time when Brando, my big fat crazy boy came up up and reminded me that the sun was up and it's time to be awake.  I crawled to the bathroom (since my back doesn't work that well in the morning) and eventually managed to stand upright.  I'm happy to report that after coffee (two cups) I finally got up and out of the house and on the road to the zoo.
There was a gorgeous peacock traversing the "farm area" of the zoo.  He was being chased by three little boys whose parents had no control over them.  I have been facing the reality of a child-free future lately and thought it might be rough with all the families around at the zoo...alas, there were plenty of naughty, dirty, rude, uncontrolled kids, so I didn't have to feel too bad about being the weird single lady wandering around taking pictures of the animals by herself.  I was happy I wasn't pregnant and trying to pull a carriage full of kids covered in ice cream drippings...there were several of those around.
The crazy-looking pig was probably my favorite animal of the day.  It was just so funny with hairs sticking out everywhere and a huge snout.  It was around here that I saw a lady wearing big giant-heeled sandals trying to control a two-ish-year old.  Seriously, lady, we are walking around a zoo.  To quote one of the kids I heard today, "it smells like poop."  This is not the place to put on your cutest high-heeled espadrilles.  They were cute, but not good for chasing an ornery boy into the tiger trail.
This little nugget is actually a red panda.  So cute!  His (or her, I don't know) tail is as big as his body but it's hidden back in his little bamboo hut.  I watched him for a good 20 minutes as I stood there trying to stretch my hip/ass/back so I could walk some more.  I'm sure I really looked like a crazy woman at that point.  

I played with each of these a little bit with Photoshop Elements.  And, while I was digging around looking for some textures to layer in there, I started looking through my email and realized that I joined in with a year-long Kim Klassen "Beyond Layers" class and have done ZERO of the lessons.  Nice!  haaaaaaaaaaa  Just when I said I had nothing to do...I guess I could open up the flippin' computer and get some things done!  Oh, and I also signed up for a little monochromatic challenge with my friend, Sally Russick, and have gotten to the step of having every purple art supply that I own out on the kitchen counter.  It's kinda fun to shop in your own art room.  Of course I went to Michael's last night for some additional paint, but only because the coupon was set to expire.  I made it under the wire with 15 minutes to spare before they closed.  I should probably go open that paint, but, Roger the Couch has really got me feeling happy, so I may have to snuggle down for a bit.  On that note, happy end-of-the-weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I was home in Bedford, Pa, for Easter and loved every minute of it.  I can't believe I have to go back to my "real world" today.  Sharing a few pictures:
The Bridge's Edge

Classicly Empty
Northside Landmark
Spring on Copper Mountain

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Splashing Colors Instead of Studying

I was restricted to the apartment this weekend with the sole purpose of writing a five-page paper about international security for my continuing Air Force education.  Needless to say, I was less than enthused about the paper, so I found every avenue of escape from my responsibilities.  The most fun of these were my painting adventures. 
I haven't played with dyes and inks and water and paper since my big Art & Soul weekend, so I dug everything out and practiced some of the techniques I learned from Cathy Taylor.  The piece above is painted with India ink and then, when fully saturated, I put a big piece of wax paper into the moisture and then let it dry.  This is how it turned out:
Then, I did another piece with some swirled color and plastic wrap:

Here's an example of the plastic wrap treatment results:
I love the way it came out all wavy!  
I started playing more with the alcohol inks and Dye-na-Flow pigments to see what would happen with the blending and am tickled with how things just starting melting and blending and being awesome 
 I tried a variety of applications including dripping and splattering

 I got a big variety of effects that I couldn't have predicted

 This was "warm color" night from Friday.  I have cool colors to show off from Saturday night but will wait for another day for those!  I have to go finish that paper now.  :)


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Bedford, PA, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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